March 8, 2009
Seven-Run Ninth Inning Leads to 15-7 Victory
HAYS, Kan. - Northwest Missouri State batted through the order in the ninth inning to score seven runs and claim a 15-7 victory against Fort Hays State today in Larks Park. The Bearcats (7-7, 3-3 MIAA) won three of the four games of the weekend series with the Tigers (13-9, 5-3 MIAA).
Bryan Picard made the most of his first collegiate at-bat with a home run in the second inning. He finished two-of-five with three RBIs and a pair of runs in his first collegiate start at second base.
Trevor Conner started the game with a double and advanced to third on a wild pitch from Aaron Nuss. A groundout by Nick Pfeiffer drove in Conner as the Bearcats took a 1-0 lead in the first inning before Picard's two-run home run in the second inning tied the game at 3-3.
After two quick outs in the fifth inning, Bill Disselhoff and Brandon Kirsch both reached base on a walk and error, respectively, to set up three straight singles for the Bearcats to drive in three runs. Another error by the third baseman allowed Picard to score his second run of the day and provide an 8-4 Bearcat lead.
Brett Becker hit the third Tiger homer of the day and Danny Washburn's double with no outs drove in Greg Crowe to bring Fort Hays State within two runs in the sixth inning. Becker drove in AJ Levanduski off a single for the seventh run in the eighth inning
Northwest held a one-run lead going into the ninth inning and put the game out of reach with seven runs and six hits off one Fort Hays State error. The Bearcats scored five runs and recorded three hits with two outs on the board and allowed only one hit in the bottom of the ninth for the 15-7 win.
Jared Erspamer went three-of-five in his second straight start with four runs, a double and a RBI. Conner went three-of-four in the leadoff spot with two runs, two RBIs and a double. He improved his batting average by 91 points to .391 during the four-game series.
Jeff Gradel, Jr., made his first appearance of the season and earned the win with one hit and two strikeouts in 1.2 innings of work. Trent Kohlsteadt made his fourth appearance of the weekend and earned his first save.
Up Next: Northwest opens the 2009 home schedule against Graceland March 11. The single nine-inning game begins at 2 p.m. from Bearcat Field.
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